Art in Practice: The Feasibility Study Interview

Art in Practice: The Feasibility Study Interview

October 4th, 2013


by Ted Grossnickle


A few months back, I wrote a blog defending the feasibility study – in response to some comments in the field about the merits of conducting studies nowadays. During that period and since that time, my colleagues and I at JGA have been very busy with a number of clients who have sought to test their aspirations – some of them truly transformative- in studies.

This has caused me to bear in mind what is most helpful to our clients when we see it occur in a feasibility study. And I’ll share those with you now.

My top ten list of good interview characteristics. It’s a good interview when the interviewee:


#10         Shows up or remembers that they have committed to appointment. You’d be surprised at the number of times someone forgets.

#9           Has read the Preliminary Case for Support. Sometimes they haven’t.

#8           Decides to trust the process and JGA; they become very authentic in their comments.

#7           Asks us a question or two about the client; they are learning while they’re being interviewed.

#6           Has a sense of humor: either about themselves or the client.

#5           Has not only read the preliminary case document but has written on it or otherwise marked up the document.

#4           Asks if they can talk longer than the allotted time for the interview.

#3           Compares the cause or organization that has commissioned the Study to another cause or related it to others with which they’ve been associated; comparisons help.

#2           Changed their thinking about the client during the interview; It’s nice to see an interviewee become more enthusiastic the more they think about a client, and,

#1           Provides real insight and deep wisdom that will help us help the client in a profound way; this happens with some frequency.


I don’t expect this to show on Late Night with David Letterman anytime soon. .. but I’m always glad to see these when we talk to an interviewee.


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